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Journal for the Study of Religion

versión On-line ISSN 2413-3027
versión impresa ISSN 1011-7601


SCHARNICK-UDEMANS, Lee-Shae Salma. A Historical and Critical Overview of Religion and Public Broadcasting in South Africa. J. Study Relig. [online]. 2017, vol.30, n.2, pp.257-280. ISSN 2413-3027.

Given the eruption of religion and media studies in the last two decades and following the predictions of leading scholars that the study of religion and media would come to represent a pivotal moment in the study of religion, the current dearth of studies about religion and media, from the Southern African region in general and South Africa in particular, suggest that this area of inquiry is in need of serious critical attention. This article investigates the role of religion in the history and development of the South African mediascape by analysing the role of religion in the banning and introduction of television under apartheid and the place of religion in the formulation of new media policy in the democratic era. This article argues that throughout the history of broadcasting in South Africa, religion has been mobilised in strategies and resources for nation building, and that there exists an unexpected continuity based on regulatory measures between the apartheid and post-apartheid contexts.

Palabras clave : South African Broadcasting Corporation; public broadcast television; Christian National; religious representation; religious diversity; religious regulation.

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